Working with business:

Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme

Call status: Closed
Next application deadline: TBC

Visit the Biotechnology YES website


The Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biotechnology YES), now in its 19th year,  is an innovative competition for postgraduate and postdoctoral scientists which raises awareness of the commercialisation of ideas from the biosciences. The competition is organised jointly by:

About the competition

Participants enter as teams and develop a business plan for a company based on a hypothetical but plausible idea based on real markets over the course of a three day residential workshop. The workshop encompasses presentations and mentoring sessions from leading figures in industry and.culminates in the presentation of the business plans to a panel of 'equity investors' drawn from industry and academia. Up to three teams for each workshop are selected to progress to the final in London.

In addition to the general Biotechnology YES workshops there are several themed workshops which are run in conjunction with industry: the Plants, Microbial and Environmental Workshop, hosted by Syngenta; the Biomedical Workshop, hosted by GSK and the Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst; and new for this year, the Food Workshop, hosted by Leatherhead Foods. The Royal Society of Chemistry is also sponsoring a Chemistry YES workshop for the second year.

Benefits of taking part

2014 calendar of events

Application deadline Online 13 June 2014
Briefing session Nottingham 13 August 2014
Plant and microbial and environmental sciences workshop Hosted by Syngenta at Jealott's Hill 8-10 October 2014
Chemistry YES workshop Sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry, in Manchester 15-17 October 2014
North West workshop Manchester 15-17 October 2014
BioMedical YES workshop Hosted by GSK and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst 22-24 October 2014
Food YES workshop Hosted by Leatherhead Food Research 5-7 November 2014
Southern workshop Leatherhead 5-7 November 2014
Scottish workshop Edinburgh 12-14 November 2014
Final London 8 December 2014

How to apply

Apply via the Biotechnology YES website.

Case studies

Winning team 2013 - Nutec Ltd from the University of Liverpool

Nutec Ltd, winners of Biotechnology YES. From left to right: Ilaria Santeramo, Sumaya Dauleh, Robert Hornby, Kelly Ward. Image: Max Alexander
Nutec Ltd, winners of Biotechnology YES. From left to right: Ilaria Santeramo, Sumaya Dauleh, Robert Hornby, Kelly Ward. Image: Max Alexander

This winning team had a concept for a diet aid that acts to reduce the uptake of dietary sugar into the bloodstream.

Managing Director Kelly Ward said: "We're delighted to win, it hasn't really sunk in. We were aware that every team was going to step up for the finals.

"It's definitely made us think differently about possible career paths. We've met so many people along the way who could be invaluable to our future careers, but not only that we've had fun and really enjoyed it. We would definitely recommend it." (See related links.)

Winning team 2012 – Calvitium Solutions

A team of aspiring biotechnology entrepreneurs from the University of Cambridge impressed a panel of judges with their hypothetical business plan for a hair loss prevention product. The team was one of the selected finalists from the inaugural Biomedical YES workshop held earlier in the year (see related links).